Through a Victorian Child's Eye

Housing and domestic life

"I slept really badly last night - our Hannah kept kicking me. There's four of us girls in bed now, but mam promised a new bed for me and Kitty to share. Mam said we're lucky, when she were a lass they all lived in one room. At least we've got three, but I'd still like a bathroom, I hate having to go to Lockwood Baths every week for a wash."


Housing conditions for some children in Victorian times were very harsh and the equipment available to help with everyday household duties was not as developed as it is today. Homes like the ones shown on this page (in Windsor Court and Sykes Yard) would have no bathroom and would have outdoor toilets (privvies) and a standpipe (tap) in the street for water. Most people would go to the local baths to have a weekly wash. However, the local baths began to be used more often for sport and leisure rather than just hygiene.


Washing clothes was an all day task for which girls were often kept off school.

Look at the picture of the washboard and have a guess as to how it would be used to wash clothes.


If your family couldn't afford to buy a rug for the floor, you might make a 'rag-rug' which was made from rags and bits of cloth.


How do you think your family home would manage without running water, a bathroom or a toilet?




 
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